July 16, 2019

Canines Host to Abortion-Causing Parasite

Eventually, after submitting fetuses to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for testing, the Koenses found the cause of their herd abortion problem to be Neospora caninum, a protozoan parasite that can affect a variety of large and small animal species, including cows, sheep, deer, goats and horses. The parasite causes a disease called neosporosis, which researchers say has become a leading cause of abortion and neonatal mortality in cattle in Wisconsin, across the U.S. and around the world. In fact, studies have shown that one or more animals in at least half of the dairy and beef herds in the United States have been exposed to this disease.

According to Koens, who has researched neosporosis since his encounter with it five years ago, the Neospora caninum parasite was first recognized as a common cause of cattle abortions in the late 1980s. It wasn’t until 1998, however, that scientists discovered the connection between Neospora caninum and canines.

Source: Canines Host to Abortion-Causing Parasite

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NEOSPOROSIS: Recognizing and Preventing Neospora caninum Infections

Neospora caninum is a major cause of abortions in cattle. First recognized in 1988, and linked
to dogs in 1998, this parasite causes an infection called neosporosis. Studies have shown that
at least half the dairy and beef herds in the United States have one or more animals that have
been exposed. In an infected herd, up to 30 percent of the animals may test positive, and some
cows may abort several times. With good herd management, through, you can reduce this
drain on your profits.

…These oocysts
are shed in the feces of dogs, and probably of wild canines including coyotes, foxes and wolves.
These animals become infected by eating infected animals, placentas or fetuses.<<<Read Entire Report>>>

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Neospora caninum and Wildlife

Bovine neosporosis caused by Neospora caninum is among the main causes of abortion in cattle nowadays. At present there is no effective treatment or vaccine. Serological evidence in domestic, wild, and zoo animals indicates that many species have been exposed to this parasite. However, many aspects of the life cycle of N. caninum are unknown and the role of wildlife in the life cycle of N. caninum is still not completely elucidated. In North America, there are data consistent with a sylvatic cycle involving white tailed-deer and canids and in Australia a plausible sylvatic cycle could be occurring between wild dogs and their macropod preys. In Europe, a similar sylvatic cycle has not been established but is very likely. The present review is a comprehensive and up to date summary of the current knowledge on the sylvatic cycle of N. caninum, species affected and their geographical distribution. These findings could have important implications in both sylvatic and domestic cycles since infected wildlife may influence the prevalence of infection in cattle farms in the same areas. Wildlife will need to be taken into account in the control measures to reduce the economical losses associated with this important disease in cattle farms. <<<Read the Full Report>>>

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